Dec 1, 2017

Quick Reviews #11 | Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index by Julie Israel // The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie Sue Hitchcock

Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index by Julie Israel

Synopsis: It’s been sixty-five days since the accident that killed Juniper’s sister, and ripped Juniper’s world apart.

Then she finds the love letter: written by Camilla on the day of the accident, addressed mysteriously to “You,” but never sent. Desperate to learn You’s identity and deliver the message, Juniper starts to investigate.

Until she loses something. A card from her Happiness Index: a ritual started by sunny Camie for logging positives each day. It’s what’s been holding Juniper together since her death – but a lost card only widens the hole she left behind. And this particular card contains Juniper’s own dark secret: a memory she can't let anyone else find out.

The search for You and her card take Juniper to even less expected places, and as she connects with those whose secrets she upturns in the effort, she may just find the means to make peace with her own.

Quick Thoughts: This was the group book for the Booktube-A-Thon, hosted over on YouTube, and I was really excited to read it, but this book was just okay for me. To be honest, it's pretty forgettable. As I am writing this review, a few months after the readathon took place, I am finding it hard to remember much about it. I do know that Juniper is suffering through her grief, and that leads to her overreaction to losing one of her cards, I think. She literally goes digging in trash trying to find this card, for several days. 

The friendships, I think, were realistic. Juniper develops a relationship with the misfit, as is common, and they each deal with family struggles. I liked the idea of Juniper creating cards like her sister did, but wasn't sure if she was handling her sisters' death very well and really wanted her to get some help.

The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock 

Synopsis: In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.

Four very different lives are about to become entangled.

Quick Thoughts: I think the cover got my attention, and I really didn't know what this was about but I'd seen it around a bit and was intrigued. The story weaves four characters lives, each dealing with a problem of sorts. The book was an easy story to get into, but I wasn't particularly interested in any one of the characters, so I felt like I was listening to it to get it done. The story was okay, I liked how all the lives connected in the end, but didn't feel there was anything particularly special about this one. 

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